As we approach the fifteen-year anniversary of ‘9/11’, which coincidentally falls on the same day as the National Football League’s opening Sunday, our nation is sadly discussing whether individuals will stand or not for the national anthem, vice worrying about potential terrorist threats or, more importantly, honoring those who gave their life for this country since ‘9/11’.
People of status have a platform upon which to do good. Ironically, the method chosen in this case will only cause more division in our country…
Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand throughout the preseason has been well documented in the media, but since his initial effort to bring awareness to social injustice in America, several others have followed suit. Seattle’s cornerback Jeremy Lane and Denver linebacker Brandon Marshall joined the effort and there is in fact discussion that the entire Seattle Seahawks team may not stand during their opener Sunday against the Miami Dolphins when the anthem is played, though it has not been confirmed.
Since those tragic events in New York, the lives of innumerable Americans have changed forever. Not only were countless people affected by the deaths of nearly 3,000 people on ‘9/11’, but thousands upon thousands have died since fighting to protect the homeland. Some will argue we should not be battling extremists overseas, seemingly forgetting the events of ‘9/11’ and showing a complete lack of understanding for how these terror groups operate. But trust us, you want our men and women taking the fight to the enemy in their homes, not at yours. Our team has fought and killed these enemies, looked into their eyes during interrogations and sadly seen our friends killed by them as well. They are vicious and cannot be stopped by simply hoping that they will go away, or worse yet, pretending that they aren’t there. Many are lured into the line of thinking that it could never happen to you, “the terrorists won’t attack me”, but as history is starting to indicate, and we know full well, they do not discriminate, they hate all Westerners.
They are vicious and cannot be stopped by simply hoping that they will go away, or worse yet, pretending that they aren’t there…
With regards to the anthem protests, I take personal offense, particularly when it falls on the anniversary of a day that changed so many lives forever, mine included. Since that horrifying day I have been deployed over thirty times to both Iraq and Afghanistan to keep America safe, averaging between 6-9 months gone per year over the span of a decade. I have lost friends and seen families ripped apart by loss, but all of us who have gone, and even those families who suffered the worst pain imaginable, would agree that it was necessary and would do it over again in a heartbeat. Our men and women fight radical Islamic extremism to keep you safe and prevent the masses from having to know just how bad things really are overseas and what the enemy wants to do to you. Still, some will argue that they are incapable of reaching the homeland and inflicting harm, and that Americans are being told to fear for political purposes only. Not only is this absurd, but let me assure you that they are here. They aren’t coming, they are here and they want to inflict the maximum amount of destruction upon us. This does not mean that they will, this is not a doomsday letter, this is a reminder that there are people serving you and this great nation to protect you not just from harm, but also knowing the truth, a truth that most can’t handle.
So work to fix social injustice, Lord knows we need to. Work to defend and change whatever cause that pulls your heart strings, but don’t do it at the expense of my friends and colleagues who have died and our forefathers who fought for the freedoms that you enjoy today. People of status have a platform upon which to do good. Ironically, the method chosen in this case will only cause more division in our country. Trust me, we aren’t a perfect nation, but if you feel that you are so oppressed that you can’t support our country while you battle your social issues, try living somewhere else. People still pour into our country in masses because we have the most freedom and the best way of life.
By a Senior OpsLens Contributor